SSBC Upgraded Brakes for Your Lifted Ford F-250 Super Duty - Install
Bring It To A Halt
From the beginning, we have been staunch supporters of upgraded brakes for nearly any truck application. The need for better braking power increases with the specific use of the truck and what it has been customized to do beyond the levels the manufacturer designed it for. Lifted trucks are especially hard on brakes, due in large part to the increased weight and rotating mass of oversized wheels and tires. Throw in a fully loaded trailer, and it just adds fuel to the fire.
We had a 2012 Ford F-250 Super Duty that we added a suspension lift to, along with a set of 20-inch wheels wrapped in 35-inch rubber. Factory brake control was deeply diminished by the oversized wheel and tire combination, and we needed a solution. That solution came by way of Stainless Steel Brakes Corporation (SSBC). SSBC has been creating performance brake solutions for vehicles since 1975. With its complete line of disc brake conversions and performance brake upgrades for trucks and SUVs, we found what we needed without much digging for the Ford F-250. Front braking was enhanced by the V-6 Quick Change Caliper Upgrade Kit and Big Bite cross-drilled and slotted rotors. Tri-Power rear calipers with the same Big Bite rotors were installed rearward. Both caliper designs offer increased bore count to maintain maximum pad contact to the rotor.
Installation credit goes to LGE-CTS Motorsports. LGE-CTS has been a longstanding part of the custom truck scene, and we have entrusted its crew with plenty of our installation and custom painting needs over the years. Filling its 6,000-square-foot suspension shop is an assortment of state-of-the-art tools and equipment to get any job done, from muscle cars with turbos to race-prepared, supercharged Raptors. When we rolled the big Super Duty into the work bay, the crew wasted no time getting it on a hoist and turning the Super Duty into a competent hauler.
“Lifted trucks are especially hard on brakes, due in large part to the increased weight and rotating mass of oversized wheels and tires. Throw in a fully loaded trailer, and it just adds fuel to the fire.”
There is no faulting the Ford’s original brakes for daily driving and occasional hauling needs. With our 35-inch tires, however, the original brakes wouldn’t make us feel safe and secure.
1. The front calipers were unbolted with the pad cage attached and hung out of the way.
2. Solid-face brake rotors don’t allow the superheated vapors to easily dissipate during extreme braking.
3. SSBC’s Big Bite rotors have cross-drilled holes and milled slots to sweep away escaping gas vapors and allow more consistent pad contact.
4. Made from billet aluminum, this massive six-piston caliper was built with stainless steel pistons and included high-performance pads that are available off the shelf at a local parts store.
5. Original brake lines were reused, so we applied a pair of locking jaw pliers to pinch off the hose while the stock banjo bolt was removed.
6. New banjo bolts and crush washers were included from SSBC, along with adapter blocks to allow proper mating of the Ford’s brake hose to the V-6 caliper.
7. You can see here how the adapter mated to the caliper and placed the OE brake hose in the correct orientation.
8. We chose the optional red powdercoat to really draw attention to the upgraded brakes. The calipers come clear anodized with polish or black powdercoat as additional options.
9. Out back, we followed suit and removed the stock two-piston calipers.
10. Pinching the brake line while the banjo bolt was being twisted off ensured minimal loss of fluid.
11. Again, original-sized Big Bite cross-drilled and slotted rotors were swapped on to match the front and maximize braking ability.
12. Differing from the front, the rear axle required reusing the factory brake pad cage. The new Raybestos brake pads were also installed.
13. The billet-aluminum Tri-Power caliper upgrade was a three-piston braking conversion that offered a small package with amazing stopping power.
14. No adapter was required to match the brake line to the Tri-Power calipers. Fresh crush washers ensured a leak-free seal.
15. With a fully matched braking system, we were confident that towing and avoiding Prius drivers was going to be a no-sweat affair.
16. Before we could hit the road, a thorough system bleed was necessary to purge air from the new calipers and ensure they were fully operational.
As we had hoped, the red powdercoat made the brakes a viewable portion of the truck instead of unsightly and dirty necessity.